IT'S ALL ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES
Michael Hagan didn’t know exactly what he wanted as a career when he started attending HTC as a senior at Robbinsdale Cooper High School through the PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options) program, but what he found was a way to open his horizons to career possibilities. That’s what he appreciates as he looks back at his decision to attend HTC.
“I had always had an interest in large equipment, and much of that runs with hydraulics,” Hagan recounts. With a start in the Fluid Power program, Hagan then moved to the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program and graduated with an A.A.S. in 2006. “I chose a position building automated packaging equipment … which uses hydraulics, pneumatics, PLC programming, machining, robotics, and plastics … all the things I learned about at HTC,” explains Hagan, who was president of the nationally awarded robot club at the college.
Now Hagan is a CAD (computer aided design) designer at MGS Machine in Maple Grove, Minnesota, where he has worked for six years. MGS designs and manufactures custom equipment used to produce innovative packaging solutions for companies that range from top pharmaceutical companies to makers of cosmetics, household, and food products. As he has advanced from his original position in machine assembly, Hagan has returned to HTC for specific courses that have prepared him for more responsibility at MGS. That’s how he got his current position. Since MGS is close to the Brooklyn Park campus, Hagan says it has been convenient for him to take classes at HTC in the evening, or even during the day, because the company is flexible. Furthermore, MGS encourages continuing education.
“A large percentage of our workforce has ties to Hennepin Technical College,” says Mike Verdon, MGS vice president, Operations, who serves on the advisory council of two programs at HTC: Automated Robotics Engineering Technology (ARET) and General Education. “It gives me a voice in sharing industry needs as it relates to what is being taught at the college.” MGS currently has 103 employees. Verdon notes that those who came from HTC have studied in a variety of programs, including robotics and fluid power. In addition, some started in automotive programs and then switched to manufacturing.
“Workers who come to MGS with HTC training get up to speed faster,” emphasizes Verdon, adding that the company encourages employees to return to the college to expand their knowledge. MGS Machine’s relationship with HTC covers more than two decades, and the company’s president, Richard Bahr, has served on the HTC Foundation board of directors since 1998. The value MGS places on quality training is just one of the reasons its employees find satisfaction in building careers there. With a focus on cutting edge technology, MGS recognizes creativity and innovation. For Mike Hagan, it has been a place to put his HTC education to work.
“Even taking just a class or two, one night a week, can help you get into an in-demand career you’ll really like, instead of being in a job with no future,” says Hagan, who believes that HTC provided him with a great base for starting a career, as well as opportunities for continuing education.
When it comes to describing the value of what he learned at HTC, Michael Hagan sums it up best when he says, “It opened my eyes to possibilities.”
Last updated by jhanson : 2015-02-22 10:53:21